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Thread: SpeedCircuit goes above and beyond

  1. #1
    ZooM-ZooM-BooMed cougar10agREDUX's Avatar

    2003 Protege ES-T

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    SpeedCircuit goes above and beyond

    I have been meaning to write this review of my experience with SpeedCircuit, mainly with Dino for a while now. I am going from memory on this so if there's any corrections to be made, don't hesitate to jump in.

    Well it all started a couple years ago when I blew the second stock engine, giving up my goal to achieve a high HP with a stock engine. I contacted Dino and laid out my plans for a built engine. Dino has always been extremely friendly, very knowledgeable, and quick to get back to me. I was able to send in a spare head along with my integral cams. Dino was able to work me with me on pricing for what I wanted to do. I don't recall the time frame but I believe it didn't take very long taking into account the machine work, labor time and the shop's workload. what I received was so damn beautiful I almost didn't put it in the protege, it would have made a nice coffee table.

    After painful break in patience, I began to stretch it's legs and turn up the boost. my car was a monster, it scared me. It scared my friends. I was having some issues with my EMS, a Megasquirt II. i had about a +5 degree timing offset issue, and couple with my horrible math in converting PSI to kPa during tuning, i ended up running way to much timing in boost, and at the top of 5th gear I detonated pretty bad, which cost me almost all my valves, (there's a picture on their FB of one of them with a chunk missing) and one of my pistons melted slightly on the valve relief. Consulting with Dino heavily on my options, and tight on cash, I had them rebuild the head, and decided to do my best with the piston. that's when Dino told me the bad news about my valves. he recommended I go with custom race valves, which would take some time, but ended up being only a little more than stock valves. I told Dino I was on a time crunch and needed to get the car running ASAP. Again there was another bump in the road, the custom valves had stems that were too long and he could not get the proper lash, and was unable to get them within spec without a valve stem grinder. This to me shows his true loyalty and honestly, he could have easily just run them down on a bench grinder, and assembled the head to get it to me in time and make me happy. But he didn't, he knew the right way to do things and would not take a shortcut. I was running out of time, and shortly after i got off the phone with him he called me back, excitedly, that he found someone to properly grind the stems. the good news about waiting on the custom valves was that the stiffer valve springs that were on backorder came in, so they were able to throw them in there.

    installed the head and fingers crossed I fired it up, shortly after I heard some rod knock. not good. At this point I was out of cash and frustrated. the car sat for about a year I think. finally I was ready to get it rebuilt, and the guys at SpeedCircuit got it done. this time it took a little longer due to special order pistons. a lot of time was spent with Dino on the phone discussing my options. I had money to rebuilt it but not deep pockets like the first time. The engine was in rough shape and Dino found me the best route for what I could spend without having to buy everything new.

    Currently, it's been almost a year since I got the engine rebuilt and fired up. Quickly worked out the kinks with my megasquirt, and have been daily driving it since. I did have an oil leak shortly after first driving it, into the bellhousing which destroyed my 1,000 mile driven spec clutch. i thought it was the rear main (which I installed, I left a lot of stuff off the block when I had it rebuilt to same money on labor.) But again after having some in depth conversations which Dino, he mentioned that he recently dealt with this problem before and turned out that two inner bolts for the MBSP to the block allowed oil to leak past them and into the bellhousing. I also installed the MBSP, so back out it came to reseal everything, and along with a new clutch. after break in I began turning up the boost. currently i'm running about 18psi, and it's running strong. I don't drive hard all day, but it definitely gets hammered through a few gears every day.



    So,to summarize, Dino is awesome, if he doesn't know it he will find out. SpeedCircuit will always have my business, the quality of workmanship coming from them is top notch. They have proven to me to be motivated, honest, and professional. Whatever your needs may be, SpeedCircuit will get the job done right.

    -Andrew
    '07 CX-7 Sport AWD - Sold :-(
    '03 Protege ES-T - daily, 18psi
    265WHP/272WTQ @ 14 PSI Stock Block

    Best 1/8 Mile: (10 PSI) 9.14 @ 81.61MPH, 60': 2.26

    SpeedCircuit Built Engine: Arias 8.5:1 Pistons, Pauter Rods, ARP Main & Head Studs, SpeedCircuit Stage 2 Head, Integral Stage 2 Cams, custom valves, valve springs.
    Megasquirt II; HiBoost Kit - T3/TO4E, Tial 38mm WG, HiBoost 2.5" DP; 626 Manifold; Synchronic BOV; Corksport 80MM Exhaust; Spec LWFW & Stage 2+ Clutch; BC Racing Coilovers; Mazdaspeed Swaybars; WORK Emotion XT-7 18x7.5 +48, Nitto NT555 Extreme 225/35R18

    My Videos on Streetfire.net
    CarDomain.com


  2. #2
    Purple Drank Tuning 2.0t03speed's Avatar

    08.5 CWP Speed 3

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    awesome vendor review btw I'm going to be hitting you up when I install a megasquirt in a few months so I don't make the same mistake you did and mess my motor up :-)

  3. #3
    ZooM-ZooM-BooMed cougar10agREDUX's Avatar

    2003 Protege ES-T

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    haha, main thing is to use a timing light to confirm you don't have a timing offset. I have a ground issue right now that's causing some noise on some of my sensors. they fluctuate a good bit. I haven't had time to figure it out yet, and it still runs good. hardest thing for me is idle, and idle timing. with the cams and 1,000cc injectors I had to use the megasquirt to control idle at 1,200 rpm. stock ECU would try to pull it low and make a nasty surge. unfortunately I haven't had time to mess with the closed loop idle control, or fine tune idle timing. I have it set for a duty cycle based on ect, so any loads pull the idle lower, that's why I have the idle high.
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  4. #4
    MOTM Winner Jan '09 Kooldino's Avatar
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    Nice write up, thank you!

    You broke my heart that day you called me and told me that you melted a valve and a piston, but I'm glad you stuck with it to rebuild her.
    Vivid Yellow MP3 - SpeedCircuit Turbo Kit @ 14-19 psi - SpeedCircuit forged motor - SpeedCircuit built trans with PAR gears & M-FactoryLSD - and FAR too many mods to list. 13.3 @ 108 - 18psi on the T3 in 2005
    Be sure to check out SpeedCircuit on facebook!

    Pope MSP Turbo Manifolds on sale now!

  5. #5
    MOTM Winner Jan '09 Kooldino's Avatar
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    Man, years ago this thread would have blown up. Is it me, or do Protege guys just not care anymore?
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  6. #6
    Purple Drank Tuning 2.0t03speed's Avatar

    08.5 CWP Speed 3

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    i know the community has really shrunk over the past 2 years =/
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  7. #7
    BAD WOLF speedracr79's Avatar
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    Yeah ive been on the forum for a few years now and noticed a decrease in activity alot of peeps have moved on afternot wanting to deal with their issues, bigger family, more power a number of different things. But like cougar I never gave up on mine either its been almost 2yrs since my cars been parked its been a very slow build process but soon itll be back on the road too.

    Ive heard nothing but good things about Dino fortunatley there isnt alot of parts for my car, and going custom like you did isnt in the budget for me as much as I would love to boost my car its just not gonna happen. But glad it all worked out for you in the end sorry you had to deal with the melting of some parts but its better now and others will learn from your experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by aMaff View Post
    It was in Beijing, so it was probably a Chinese knockoff of an Elantra, which is one of the saddest things ever written on the internet LOL
    "I REJECT YOUR REALITY AND SUBSTITUTE MY OWN"

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